Learning to Cast from a Boat

When taking a novice angler fishing on a boat, perhaps as a mentor or on a free fishing day, here are a few things to share:

1) One of the great parts of fishing from a boat is that you are going closer to the fish. Sometimes, you may even find yourself directly over fish. Long, forceful casts may not be necessary. A stealthy approach will be helpful too. Save the loud voices for the celebratory “Yee-ha!” for after landing that big one.

2) Consider the stability of the boat, when casting and landing fish. Pontoon boats are amazingly steady, allowing freedom to move around, but keep everyone seated in that canoe.

3) Position the beginning angler at the front of the boat. This will help you keep an eye on them (see Number 4). They may need assistance rigging, unhooking, or for a photo opportunity. Additionally, the front of the boat likely offers them first choice of casting targets.

4) All anglers on a boat need to develop an awareness of others aboard this floating island. When casting, allow ample spacing behind to avoid tangles, snapping off lures, and ears.

5) If spacing is tight, as on a tandem kayak, a side arm casting technique is much safer than overhead. Plus, a gentle, sweeping sidearm cast helps keep bait on a hook, instead of being launched across the lake.

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Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad. He says there are “people who fish”… and there are “fishermen”.  One of the few things he knows is that he is a “fisherman”...  To the point it could be classified as borderline illness.  Sharing this obsession is rewarding, therapeutic. He likes to encourage people to “stop and smell the crappie."  Enjoys catching fish, but gets a greater thrill out of helping someone else hook up.
Born in Florida, but raised on the banks of Oklahoma farm ponds. Now relocated to western Pennsylvania. He has fished, worked, lived all around the US.  He has a B.S. in Zoology from Oklahoma State as well...
And he met his wife while electrofishing. He has been contributing weekly to www.takemefishing.org since 2011.